Some "behind-the-scenes discounting" drove down polystyrene resin prices in December.
PS prices fell an average of 3 cents per pound for the month, following price drops for benzene, which is used to make styrene monomer. One market source attributed the drop to reduced PS demand and "discounting."
PS prices had been down 4 cents in November after climbing a total of 12 cents in the previous three months. Benzene prices slumped 8 percent to $3.35 per gallon in December, a drop of 30 cents. Improved domestic supplies helped drive benzene pricing down for the month.
North American PS prices finished 2023 up a net of 1 cent per pound and benzene prices up 28 cents. Global PS markets had to deal with oversupply and low demand growth for most of the year.
The drop in benzene prices also was influenced by lower regional prices for crude oil. West Texas Intermediate oil prices opened December near $76 per barrel but closed the month at $71.65 for a drop of almost 6 percent.